Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Oh Noes! Borders Offers Romance Book for Free; Takes Advantage...

Borders is running a Buy 4 Get 1 Free special for romances. When I first saw this discount notice in my inbox (which works out to about $1.25 off per book), I thought, “Sweet.” But apparently, I should have thought “those rat bastards.”

According to blogger at TensionBreaker:

Offering consumers 5 romance novels for the price of 4 (and making the offer a week before Valentines Day) crosses the line from “meeting the consumer’s untapped needs” to “exploiting the consumer’s human frailty at a time of emotional weakness.”

I think offering the coupon on St. Patrick’s Day would be particularly insidious given how liquor can also “exploit a consumer’s human frailty”. Perhaps Columbus Day would be an appropriate time for Borders to run the special?

I went to the Borders site to see if it was engaging in any other nefarious business practices and it was. It is offering Hogfather, the movie version of Terry Pratchett’s novel, BEFORE YOU CAN BUY IT IN THE STORES! If that is not exploiting human frailty of those weak willed addicted to Pratchett, I don’t know what is.

Please, readers, we must band together and put a stop to this corporate attempt to exploit us. I suggest we take up a letter writing campaign and demand this discount not be offered during any holiday during which we weak women might be emotionally susceptible to the ploy of getting us to buy more romance books!

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Teddypig
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:04:03

    Dear book sellers please feel free to exploit my human frailty at a time of emotional weakness more often.

    How about a two for one Frail Romance Reader special?

  2. Ann Aguirre
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:10:28

    Some people wouldn’t complain if they had one leg and no shoes. Some people would complain if you gave ’em a sack of gold cos the damn thing’s too heavy. I call BS on exploitation; in my world, we have another word for what Borders is doing:


  3. Jill Myles
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:22:25

    Those jerks!! *shakes fist*

    Now I have to go shopping again this weekend.

  4. Jaci Burton
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:48:31

    Sadly, I am easily exploited even without benefit of holiday.

    *sigh*…i’m so weak.

  5. Jia
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:50:16

    Those jerks! Can you believe it? They have the nerve to hold a sale! I don’t know about you, but I hate saving money!

  6. Randi Thompson
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:56:43

    This is as bad as the 20% coupon B&N emailes me every other week (I just got one yesterday). Pesky corporate coupons….

  7. Randi Thompson
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:57:38

    PS. I think I’ll go buy some Harlequins, so that I can participate in the Harlequin blog deal. Do you think Borders and Harlequin are in cahoots?

  8. Phyl
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 12:59:17

    What about the fact that Fictionwise is offering a 20% discount of all romances through the 14th? Aren’t they equally guilty? Shouldn’t they get tarred with the same brush? I don’t suppose we could convince a few other vendors of our frailty?

  9. Katiebabs
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 13:23:14

    I admit it, I have been exploited by Borders more times than I can count. Those pesky 25% off any book coupons!! *shakes fist*
    And that Borders card than enables my book addiction *shakes fist again*
    Those to die for coffee freezes at the Borders cafe *Slurp slurp*

  10. CourtneyCarroll
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 13:31:40

    I love how tensionbreaker blogger assume that romance readers, are “frail” and that Valentine’s Day is a time of “emotional weakness” for said readers. This blogger needs to quit stereotyping romance readers.

  11. Christine
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 13:42:15

    Hello. My name is Christine and I’m here today because I, too, am a shameless victim of emotional exploitation from Borders. Curiously, my doting husband is very happy about that! I saved $7.99 and got a register coupon to save 20% on next week’s book purchase! :D

    Bring it on, Borders. I’m feeling strong!

  12. azteclady
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 13:51:40

    Whatever side the axe falls on, we need more lolcats.

  13. vanessa jaye
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:14:43

    Frail and emotionally weak?

    Hell, let’s move onto ‘downtrodden’ and throw in a free latte while they’re at it.

  14. azteclady
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:18:06

    Upon re-reading… isn’t “emotionally weak women” just a tad… you know, redundant?

  15. TrustMe_2_Forget
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:22:43

    what a crock…

  16. Kristie(J)
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:25:05

    Well Damn!! Chapters often has a buy 3 get 1 free romance sale for the whole month of February – a better deal than Borders. I guess Chapters is just more ruthless than Borders. All these years I thought it was just a good time of year to buy books. I never realized that they were only exploiting my womanly emotional weakness that increases during the month of February. Those bastards! I’ll just have to show them by buying 6 books and getting 2 free!! And furthermore – if I use my 10% off coupon, I’ll really be showing them!

  17. Shiloh Walker
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:36:04

    This frail, emotionally weak consumer thanks the blog for the heads up on the sale. My spam blocker keeps eating all my borders stuff.


  18. Gennita Low
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:39:35

    LOL. I don’t know why, but every time I see “Oh noess” now I crack up. I keep thinking my Greek Chorus is haunting me!

    What they need to do is offer Valentine GODIVA CHOCOLATE with the special 4 for 1 romance deal. Love and chocolate. Wouldn’t that be really taking advantage of all my feminine frailties!

  19. Jennifer Estep
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:47:13

    Hey, if they want to give me a discount, they can take advantage of my weak-willed, book-buying self any time. ;-)

  20. Katie
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:50:11

    This post made me want to go to Borders, which I did!
    So weak yet felt so good.
    Got myself a coffee also, so there! :D

  21. Shiloh Walker
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 14:53:33

    What they need to do is offer Valentine GODIVA CHOCOLATE with the special 4 for 1 romance deal. Love and chocolate. Wouldn't that be really taking advantage of all my feminine frailties!

    Oh… now THAT would be really wicked.

    …says Shi in a hopeful voice.

  22. Sherry Thomas
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 15:12:41

    I remember two years ago my husband had to come and drag me away–with those expensive flowers I told him not to buy–from the coffee shop where I was working, for some Valentine couples time.

    Guess my frail time must be some other holiday then.

  23. Mireya
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 15:35:02

    I am frail and vulnerable and weak and have no will power … I went to Waldenbooks and got me 5 for the price of 4 … oh, and this was not planned, I just went to the mall with the husband to have lunch … and Waldenbooks just happened to be there :>

  24. Kay Webb Harrison
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 15:59:33

    As a member of the Borders Rewards program, I learned about the 5 for 4 deal when I read this week’s Short List. I just returned from the mall where this strong-willed, emotionally stable woman took FULL ADVANTAGE of the deal.

  25. whey
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 16:07:24

    Stop harshin’ on my emo.

    This ad is a virtual slap in the face. Borders has no sympathy for the romantically-challenged, and this “marketing” scheme is obviously just another way to rub salt in the wounds of the lonely and unloved.

    It’s like having your birthday on February 29th.
    Getting socks on your anniversary.
    Matching three numbers on a scratchoff… and winning $1.
    Receiving a 3% raise when the cost of living has gone up 4%.

    I shall write a poem about it.

  26. Gina
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 16:08:04

    Books….and coffee…and chocolate….oh Borders, you say all the right things……….

  27. Charlene Teglia
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 16:21:06

    I am weak-willed because all I see is “la la la Borders buy 4 get 1 free”. Use me, Borders!

  28. Chicklet
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 17:11:55

    Yes, I’m a frail little girl whose romantic longings are met only by 5-for-4 romance sales. I shall commission Fall Out Boy to sing a song about my pain and exploitation at the hands of Border. I can only hope that Pete Wentz will be able to deploy a single emo tear at the most appropriate point in the video.

  29. Janine
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 17:12:35

    This is as bad as the 20% coupon B&N emailes me every other week (I just got one yesterday). Pesky corporate coupons….

    Drat. I only got a 15% off coupon from B&N yesterday! They need to work harder on exploiting my feminine frailties.

  30. Joy
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 19:09:33

    Aside: i’m wondering how borders determines who gets what coupon. I got the 20%….and forgot to check to see if there was a better one(although the webmaster has gotten better so you can’t guess the coupon address anymore).

    On Topic: i forgot that borders does this sale every feb and bought books last weekend (feb 5 releases out early)…but I think I may be able to find 5 books i want :-)

  31. Seressia
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 22:00:39

    Hey Borders is into Blaxplotation too, because they’re offering buy one, get one 50% off for AA fiction and studies all month. Yeah, I really felt exploited as I staggered to the register with 14 books balanced against my weak, emotional cleavage on Saturday. And my %$#@! sister is an enabler of the man because she gave me a gift card, and I had Borders Bucks and a coupon. And dammit I’ll be back next week even though I can’t get into this current stack because I’m reading Rita books right now.

    God I’m so weak.

  32. Ivy
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 22:19:49

    Thanks for the headsup on the Borders promo. I have a big GC to spend there.

    Hogfather was showing on the Ion Channel around Christmas time. It was truly, deeply awful. Save your money.

  33. azteclady
    Feb 08, 2008 @ 22:26:20

    Seressia, I feel your pain. You poor, poor thing. :P

%d bloggers like this: